For every Johnson Countian who has wandered through another city’s streets lined with microbreweries and food trucks and wondered, “When will we have that here?” Lenexa may have an answer.
Limitless Brewing is set to become perhaps the second such business in the county, now that it has found a location and gotten the blessing of the city’s planning commission.
The commission’s approval came June 4, culminating a year-long search for a workable location. If the full city council approves it June 19, construction will begin right away at 9765 Widmer Road so that it can possibly be open by Thanksgiving, said Dave Mobley, co-owner.
The business will be in a light industrial area a few blocks south of Lenexa’s Old Town. Mobley will lease 4,800 square feet of larger building, with a production area in back and 1,100 square feet for a tap room out front. He also plans to have a food truck parked nearby on weekends and during non-business hours on weekdays.
That’s a business model well known to cities like Denver, but rarer in Johnson County. The nearest comparable tap room/microbrewer Mobley could think of is Red Crow Brewing Company of Spring Hill, which has plans to relocate to Olathe. Brew Lab in Overland Park has evolved from an instructional space to a brewery and tap room, but has its own kitchen.
The concept is new enough to Lenexa that there’s no zoning category that matches it. Limitless got approval for a 10-year special use permit.
Limitless Brewing’s journey covered two years of working with Lenexa officials and a search of 20 potential locations, Mobley said. “Oh, man, so many,” he said. But many were too expensive or got push-back from landlords and neighbors unfamiliar with the concept.
He and partners Emily Mobley (his wife) and Darin Worthington kept looking in Lenexa, though, because the city had been so helpful and encouraging, he said.
Mobley wants his place to be a community brewery, with people involved on social media. He hopes to be open 365 days a year, beginning with a Thanksgiving community meal.
The Mobleys, of Overland Park, have been moving toward the microbrewery concept since he wrote a beer blog a couple of years ago, he said. “My wife and I traveled the country on our own dime talking to brewery owners,” he said. “It’s taking things back to what really makes me happy,” he said.
“It’s just something great to see people smile. Most of the time when you go to a brewery there’s a whole bunch of smiling.”
Mobley worked at the postal service for 15 years before finding his calling in the microbrew business, he said. Emily Mobley worked in human resources.
As they worked on putting the business together, they raised their profile by having tastings in their home. Attendees rated the beers and the money raised went to local non-profits, he said.
Eventually, he hopes to partner with other local businesses such as the Yummylicious Cookie Company of Lenexa, he said, for such things a cookie pairings.